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Ancient Grain Fails To Feed Ethiopian Family

"I will no more be a daily labourer to earn additional income."


YOHANIS IN HIS VEGETABLE FIELDS
Yohanis Desalegn is a hardworking farmer living in Anger, a community in the Lowlands of Sasiga, Ethiopia.

Yohanis is 42 years old with a large family. Until recently, he exclusively farmed sorghum, an ancient cereal grain first domesticated in his native Ethiopia thousands of years ago. Today, it's grown all over Africa and is considered one of the healthiest cultivated grains in the world. Due to a rising global demand for sorghum from the gluten-free revolution in the West, Yohnanis and his family should have been collecting a substantial wage from their sorghum sales and themselves been well fed and healthy.

But this wasn't the case.

Due to depleted soil and insufficient rainfall, Yohanis was only able to harvest enough sorghum to feed his family for four months! For the remainder of the year, he worked as a day laborer on a large farm in order to provide for his family.

In 2012, however, things started to turn around. Yohanis had the opportunity to attend a training on micro-irrigation and was given farm tools and fruit and vegetable seeds.

Immediately after the training, Yohanis started intensive work to get irrigation installed on his fields.

It was due to a lack of knowledge that irrigable land laid empty without being farmed. After getting training, I started working on more fields and discovered I could harvest twice a year instead of just once.

Not only was Yohanis able to increase his sorghum yield, he was also able to diversify his crops.

I have now extended the banana farm I was given by the project. I produce so many bananas a week that my family can eat as many as they want and I can still take three bunches to the market weekly and sell each for 120 birr - that’s $21CAD a week!

During his first year of vegetable farming, Yohanis earned enough income off his farm that he could send his children to school and gradually raise the standard of living for his whole family. Yohanis has even been able to provide a better home for his family to live in.

He now works just under four acres of land for fruit and vegetable production. He uses exclusively organic fertilizer to improve the quality of his crops - Yohanis never uses chemicals on his farm land. The soil has really responded well. 

Yohanis no longer works for another farm - he's 100% self-employed.

And his efforts have not gone unnoticed! Because of his hard-earned success, about 17 other farmers from his his village are copying his new farming techniques and have already begun to improve their own lives, just as he has.

Every area of my family’s life has been improved as a result of the project input and capacity building done by FH Ethiopia. I will no more be a daily labourer to earn additional income. I’m very pleased and give thanks to God. And let God bless the project and those who provided us the resources to work with.

You can help other hardworking farmers like Yohanis by giving them farming training and start-up tools and seed:
GIVE AN AG-PACK


YOHANIS AND HIS GIANT PAPAYAS
YOHANIS' BANANAS GENERATE SIGNIFICANT INCOME FOR HIS FAMILY
YOHANIS TENDS HIS FIELDS FAITHFULLY
HARVESTING SOME VEGGIES
Ancient Grain Fails To Feed Ethiopian Family Reviewed by Eryn on 11:03 AM Rating: 5
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